My Favourite Movies of 2014

If my notes are accurate, of the films released this year in Spain, I’ve seen around twenty. And I would like to highlight the following six by release date: 

Nebraska (2013) / US / 115 minutes / bw / Paramount Vantage Dir: Alexander Payne Pro: Albert Berger & Ron Yerxa Scr: Bob Nelson Cine: Phedon Papamichael Mus: Mark Orton Cast: Bruce Dern (Woody Grant) , Will Forte (David Grant, Woody’s youngest son), June Squibb (Kate Grant, Woody’s wife, mother of Ross and David), Stacy Keach (Ed Pegram, Woody’s old business partner), Bob Odenkirk (Ross Grant, Woody’s oldest son) Release Date: 7 February 2014 (Spain) Sinopsis: After receiving a sweepstakes letter in the mail, a cantankerous father (Bruce Dern) thinks he’s struck it rich, and wrangles his son (Will Forte) into taking a road trip to claim the fortune. Shot in black and white across four states, Nebraska tells the stories of family life in the heartland of America. (Official website)

Philomena (2013) / UK – US – FR / 98 minutes /color / Pathé, The Weinstein Company (TWC) Dir: Stephen Frears Pro: Gabrielle Tana, Steve Cooga, Tracey Seaward Scr: Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope Story: based on The Lost Child of Philomena Lee by Martin Sixsmith Cine: Robbie Ryan Mus: Alexandre Desplat Cast: Judi Dench ( Philomena Lee), Steve Coogan (Martin Sixsmith), Michelle Fairley (Sally Mitchell) Barbara Jefford (Sister Hildegarde), Anna Maxwell Martin (Jane), Mare Winningham (Mary) Release Date: 28 February 2014 (Spain) Sinopsis: Philomena is the true story of one mother’s search for her lost son. Falling pregnant as a teenager in Ireland in 1952, Philomena was sent to the convent of Roscrea to be looked after as a “fallen woman”. When her baby was only a toddler, he was taken away by the nuns for adoption in America. Philomena spent the next fifty years searching for him in vain. Then she met Martin Sixsmith, a world-weary political journalist who happened to be intrigued by her story. Together they set off for America on a journey that would not only reveal the extraordinary story of Philomena’s son, but also create an unexpectedly close bond between them. The film is a compelling narrative of human love and loss and ultimately celebrates life. It is both funny and sad and concerns two very different people, at different stages of their lives, who help each other and show that there is laughter even in the darkest places. The book “The Lost Child Of Philomena Lee” was published in 2009. It acted as a catalyst for thousands of adopted Irish children and their ‘shamed’ mothers to come forward to tell their stories. Many are still searching for their lost families. (Official website)

The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) / US – DE – UK / 100 minutes /color-bw / 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment Dir: Wes Anderson Pro: Wes Anderson, Jeremy Dawson, Steven M. Rales, Scott Rudin  Scr: Wes Anderson Story: Wes Anderson and Hugo Guinness inspired by the writings of Stefan Zweig Cine: Robert Yeoman Mus: Alexandre Desplat Cast: Ralph Fiennes (Monsieur Gustave H), Tony Revolori (Young Zero Moustafa), Adrien Brody (Dmitri Desgoffe und Taxis), Willem Dafoe (J.G. Jopling), Jeff Goldblum (Deputy Vilmos Kovacs), Saoirse Ronan (Agatha), Edward Norton (Inspector Henckels), F. Murray Abraham (Old Zero Moustafa), Mathieu Amalric (Serge X), Jude Law (The Author as a Young Man), Harvey Keitel (Ludwig), Bill Murray (Monsieur Ivan), Léa Seydoux (Clotilde), Jason Schwartzman (Monsieur Jean), Tilda Swinton (Madame Céline Villeneuve Desgoffe und Taxis), Tom Wilkinson (The Author as an Old Man), Owen Wilson (Monsieur Chuck), Bob Balaban (M. Martin) Release Date: 21 March 2014 (Spain) Sinopsis: The Grand Budapest Hotel recounts the adventures of Gustave H, a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel between the wars, and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend. The story involves the theft and recovery of a priceless Renaissance painting and the battle for an enormous family fortune — all against the back-drop of a suddenly and dramatically changing Continent. Written by Fox Searchlight Pictures. (Official website)

Ida (2013) / PL – DK / 82 minutes / bw / Soloban / Dir: Paweł Pawlikowski Pro: Eric Abraham, Piotr Dzięcioł & Ewa Puszczyńska Scr: Rebecca Lenkiewicz & Paweł Pawlikowski Cine: Lukasz Zal, Ryszard Lenczewski Mus: Kristian Selin Eidnes Andersen Cast: Agata Kulesza (Wanda Gruz), Agata Trzebuchowska (Ida Lebenstein), Joanna Kulig (singer), Dawid Ogrodnik (Lis, a saxophonist), Jerzy Trela (Szymon Skiba), Adam Szyszkowski (Feliks Skiba), Artur Janusiak, Halina Skoczynska, Mariusz Jakus Release Date: 28 March 2014 (Spain) Sinopsis: Poland  1962. Anna is a novice, an orphan brought up by nuns in the convent. She has to see Wanda, the only living relative, before she takes her vows. Wanda tells Anna that Anna is Jewish. Both women start a journey not only to find their family tragic story, but who they really are and where they belong. They question their religions and ideas  they believed in. Both are trying to go on living but only one of them can. (Official website)

La isla minima [English title: Marshland] (2014) / ES / 105 minutes /color / Warner Bros. Entertainment Dir: Alberto Rodriguez Pro: Atípica Films, S.L., Sacromonte Films, S.L., Antena 3 Films, S.L. Scr: Alberto Rodríguez, Rafael Cobos Cine:Álex Catalán Mus: Julio de la Rosa Cast: Raúl Arévalo (Pedro), Javier Gutiérrez (Juan), Antonio de la Torre (Rodrigo), Nerea Barros (Rocío), Jesús Castro (Quini), Manolo Solo (a journalist), Salvador Reina, Jesús Carroza, Juan Carlos Villanueva Release Date: 26 September 2014 (Spain) Sinopsis: Two adolescents disappear from a town deep in the Guadalquivir wetlands. Two detectives are sent from Madrid; both use very different methods and are not precisely going through the best moment in their professional careers. A strike threatens the rice harvest and complicates the investigations of the two policemen, pressed to solve the case as quickly as possible. What they do however discover is evidence that many more youngsters have disappeared and that there is another source of wealth: drug trafficking. (Official website)

Relatos salvajes [English: Wild Tales] (2014) / AR – ES / 122 minutes /color / Warner Bros Dir: Damián Szifron Pro: Hugo Sigman, Agustín Almodóvar, Pedro Almodóvar, Matías Mosteirín, Esther García, Claudio Belocopitt, Gerardo Rozín Scr: Damián Szifrón Cine: Javier Juliá  Mus: Gustavo Santaolalla Cast: Ricardo Darín, Óscar Martínez, Leonardo Sbaraglia, Érica Rivas, Rita Cortese, Julieta Zylberberg, Darío Grandinetti Release Date: 17 October 2014 (Spain) Sinopsis: Inequality, injustice and the demands of the world we live in cause stress and depression for many people. Some of them, however, explode. This is a movie about those people. Vulnerable in the face of a reality that shifts and suddenly turns unpredictable, the characters of Wild Tales cross the thin line that divides civilization and barbarism. A lover’s betrayal, a return to the repressed past and the violence woven into everyday encounters drive the characters to madness as they cede to the undeniable pleasure of losing control. (Official website)

2 thoughts on “My Favourite Movies of 2014”

  1. I haven’t seen any of your favourites, Jose.
    Nebraska – appeals to me and two of my children have seen The Grand Budapest Hotel. I don’t think I have seen too many new films this year myself.

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